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Konrad Lorenz

PSWUENSC@ecuvm1.UUCP (Karl L. Wuensch)
(true, ouch, sexual?, smirk)

This item appeared in the Journal of Irreproducible Results in 1989,
submitted by Nathan Shalit.  It originally appeared in The Sciences, May/June/
1988, by N.Y. Academy of Science.

     Konrad Lorenz, the great animal behaviorist, was scrupulous about
cultivating fruitful confusion.  Lorenz lived among his research subjects:
dozens of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fishes.  He did not
quantify, control, or consciously experiment.  He got to know each creature
individually, then threw them together, watching for the unexpected, the
unusual, or the bizarre in the chaos that followed.  For example, his interest
in one of ethology's most important concepts, that of intention movements
(motions with meaning, such as the head bobbing in birds that serves as an
alarm signal before flight), derived from an inadvertent experiment.  He had
trained a free-flying raven to eat raw meat from his hand and had been feeding
the bird for several hours one day.  He would reach into his pants pocket and
take out a piece of meat, and the raven would swoop down to grab it in its
bill.  By an by, Lorenz went to relieve himself near a hedge.  When the raven
saw him put his hand into his pants and pull out another morsel of meat, it
swooped down, hungrily grasping the new mouthful in its bill.  Lorenz howled
in pain.  But the event left a deep impression on him--about how faithfully
animals respond to intention movements, that is.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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